Cape Town has a tangible buzz about it, a sparkle of life that permeates every neighbourhood, wine farm and tourist attraction. A major part of this is its market culture. Vibrant markets are scattered throughout the Mother City, and each offer something unique and special.
Markets, in general, tend to be more casual affairs; inviting families to enjoy goods and services that are not always readily available elsewhere. They also give local vendors the opportunity to showcase their wares, which are often handmade or organically sourced, for example.
Here are some of Cape Town’s favourite markets …
The Bay Harbour Market (Hout Bay)
This market is all about awesome ingredients and one-of-a-kind cuisines. It is situated in an abandoned factory and hosts 100 traders and about 24 000 visitors every month. Live music complements the delicious flavours of a host of mouth-watering dishes – ranging from wood-fired pizzas to fresh seafood platters. Visitors will love sampling the goods, and stocking up on awesome treats as well as gifts for those back home. Of course, there are also clothing, antiques, and leather goods on offer to make for a complete shopping extravaganza. Sustainable living is of core importance to the organisers of this market, who constantly seek to promote it through this experience.
The Doilie Market (Durbanville)
This is the Market Mecca for those who have a penchant for arts, crafts and design. It is set within gorgeous gardens, and traders are hand-picked to ensure that they fit the specialised criteria of those with a passion for all things beautiful and innovative. Items on sale include fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, artisan produce and irresistible baked goods. There is plenty to see and do for little ones, including a petting zoo and pony rides. Adults will enjoy the live music, beer garden and wine stalls.
The Market on the Wharf (V&A Waterfront)
Local, organic and homemade produce is the order of the day at this vibey market. Being situated at the V & A Waterfront means that it is central and accessible; with an undeniable sense of being in the hub of the action. The on-site demo kitchen and live demonstrations allows visitors to learn and sample some of the best palate pleasers, while the outdoor beer garden is inviting on a hot summer’s day. There is also an entertainment area for children.
The Old Biscuit Mill (Woodstock)
This is an ever-growing market that resembles a little village in its own right. It includes demo stations, organic produce stalls, designer stores, farm produce, opulent dining experiences, handmade keepsakes and much more. The Old Biscuit Mill showcases some of the country’s most innovative designers and photographers too, making it an outing for everyone to enjoy. This is also a fabulous place to source unique items; such as wild, organic mushrooms or artisan cheeses that are quite out of the ordinary when compared to what is available in local supermarkets.
Cape Town’s markets are an integral part of the city’s identity and appeal as one of the world’s top tourist destination. Plan to schedule a visit to one or more of them in your travel itinerary.